New international body unveils professional ESG qualification

The International Association for Sustainable Economy (IASE) launched this week

The International Association for Sustainable Economy (IASE), a body launched this week, has created new ESG qualifications meeting both UK and international standards, supported by work with the UK’s Personal Finance Society

The benchmarked accreditation can be gained by professionals completely online with the first, International Sustainable Finance, aimed at individuals in the financial sector such as those working in banking, insurance, savings banks and microfinance sector, and the second, International Sustainable Business, aimed those in the business sector.

The IASE said the qualifications have been designed in collaboration with experienced ESG professionals from multiple geographies and industries at the global level, and it is already supported in more than 25 countries including the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, China, South Korea, India, the US, Canada, Mexico, Colombia and South Africa.

Based in London, the IASE is chaired by Javier Manzanares Allen (pictured), who is also deputy executive director of the Green Climate Fund, the largest climate fund in the world. 

He said: “IASE seeks to be the reference in ESG at an international level that aspires to deepen the sustainable development of our society by certifying professionals in ESG matters and in an environment of continuous innovation.”

The IASE website further explained: “The most prominent trends within the ESG focus on climate change, innovation, work-life balance, gender diversity and indigenous populations; areas as different as necessary that require increasingly flexible and adaptable professionals to achieve a positive impact on society, corporations and the environment.

“In this context, online education has become the standard for training and has facilitated the birth of IASE, the first association in the world that will certify professionals in the field of ESG completely online, using cutting-edge technologies in order to reach all corners of the planet.”

The PFS will join the IASE’s board and academic committee to help create the content for exams and CPD exploring ESG.

Keith Richards, chief executive officer of the PFS, said: “ESG considerations have been growing in prominence within the institutional market for a good number of years and is increasingly prominent for the retail market and set to grow from a government, regulatory and investor perspective over the coming years.

“The IASE qualifications will be designed in collaboration with highly experienced ESG professionals from multiple geographies and sectors around the world and enable holders to demonstrate their technical competence through certification to International standards.

“We look forward to working with IASE to help shape qualifications that improve understanding of the different responsible investment approaches and the green finance market.”

The IASE added accreditation has been designed to help build confidence of companies, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders in knowledge, skills, lifelong learning, behaviour and ethics, the association said, and it hopes it will “change the way professionals and companies are recognised for socially conscious behaviour”.

IASE accreditation will help corporations, businesses and institutions strengthen and reinforce the following:

  • Reputation and branding
  • Relationships with their employees and providers
  • A positive perception from their clients and other stakeholders
  • An improvement of their efficiency, their added value, and their transformation process towards a more sustainable model, with greater environmental impact
  • Grants employees’ access to training plans, facilitating their access to knowledge in ESG, which is increasingly demanded by the market

Companies interested in receiving the certification will be able to complete an online an exam from Q4 2020, where they will be able to test their ESG credentials in return for accreditation if successful. For more information, click here.


Natalie Kenway

Natalie is editor in chief at MA Financial covering ESG Clarity, Portfolio Adviser and International Adviser. She was previously global head of ESG insight for ESG Clarity and has been an investment journalist...